Every week, I spend an hour, or two, or twelve walking on the grounds of nearby Fountainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana. It’s a wonderful place to walk, whether on the shores of the lake or among the mossy, live oaks. The remains of an old sugar cane mill remind me that the place’s history is rooted in history, too. When the sugar planter died, he bequeathed the land as a public park.
At some point in the early 20 century, a large old-fashioned bathhouse was erected on the sandy northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The state of Louisiana recently renovated the place to the original floor plan, complete with row upon row of semi-private changing rooms, shower stalls, and toilets. There are 2 wings, one for each gender.
It’s almost always empty. Who changes in privacy before using a public beach? Why would men and women in our enlightened age need separate changing areas? Who cares if the family loads into the car with sand and mud clinging to their bottoms and feet?
Bathhouses are as anachronistic as the plantations themselves. I don’t know if I care about the bathhouses in particular. It’s the subject that comes to mind that I care about.
I am bothered by the utter lack of decency in the leader for the Republican ticket. He has no sense of decency in language, in actions, or the way he conducts the campaign. Whether it’s insulting a war veteran, speaking of a women’s menstrual cycle, laughing at a disabled person, or insulting entire ethnic and religious groups, he has no decency.
When the Israelites were a small confederation of tribes, the elders tell us that they asked God for a king. Loosely speaking, God said, ‘Let me be your king.” God wanted them to not look to one man, but to keep the older tradition of judges, elders and prophets.
The people persisted. Saul was the first king. He was tall, good-looking, and a total failure. He led Israel’s sons into battle against their enemies and finally against each other. He died in suicide on the battlefield, a tragic figure in Biblical history.
Sometimes, we get what we ask for.
*My inspiration for this post that I spent all of 15 minutes composing came after reading Pastor Max Lucado’s column, Decency for President.